Fresh Air

Today is no ordinary day.  Today is the birth day of my first nephew, Benjamin Brooks.  We all knew it would be today.  My sister developed preeclampsia early in her pregnancy so a cesarean section was in order.  Last night, I called the family to check and see how the game plan was shaping up … who was going to be at the hospital?  Was Mom going to be able to record the birth?  How was Sarah feeling?  What time were they planning on departing for the hospital?

Speaking to my brother, I told him I now know exactly how he must have felt 11 years ago when he was in Florida at college and our little brother, Austin was born.  It sucks being 1,000 miles away while everyone else gets to celebrate a new life together.  He agreed that it sucks but said “this is even worse though, because we all KNOW when Brooks is going to be born.  We didn’t necessarily know when Austin would make his appearance.  Sucks to be you.”  I tried not to think about it the rest of the evening for fear that I may hop in the Crossfire and make an unplanned journey North.

This morning, I didn’t think too much of it, just a passing thought here and there, “I wonder what they’re doing right now?” and “Is Sarah nervous about the operation?”  I called her cell phone to wish her luck, only then did I remember that she lost her phone yesterday so that would be a moot point.  Unfortunately, I don’t have her husband’s phone number so was unable to annoy them entirely.

On my way to work – okay, while sitting at the drive-thru at McDonalds while en route to work – I received a phone call from my mother.  I thought she was just giving me a pre-game pep talk about the whole occasion, but instead she said that while Sarah was loading up the car this morning to head to the hospital she felt a rush of water and was bleeding.  So, didn’t have much else to report other than they went straight to the hospital and she’d keep me posted with the next update she received.  She was on her way to meet them herself.

Due to the preeclampsia and all the hazards that come with it, I tried not to think about bad things.  I forced thoughts of emergency c-sections and hemorrhaging and dead babies – or, dead sisters.  But of course those thoughts were too strong to be ignored.  I smoked 3 cigarettes on my way to the office … and bit my nails to the quicks.

At 10:00 I called my brother and asked what the status was.  He said they were just waiting, but that there was no real urgent concern about the bleeding.  The doctors were going to move up the scheduled operation, but everyone was calm and positive that there would be no complications.  He promised to call as soon as he knew anything.

Twenty minutes later, my mother called.  She and my sister’s husband were prepped to be present during the operation and were just about to go into the O.R.  She assured me that I would be one of the first to know once the baby was safely out of the womb.  I waited. 

Impatiently.

I looked up cars on Craigslist (I want to get rid of my sports car and graduate to something bigger to use for traveling and hauling around 2 pups), I emailed a few friends, updated my Facebook status.  I sent Sarah a text message that I knew she wouldn’t get, but thought it would make me feel somehow closer to the big moment.  I went outside to smoke another cigarette hoping that while I was outside, I might get a call from a family member with an update.  I called my friend Lindsay and asked her to distract me from myself for a few minutes, and she obliged.

We talked about her pending home sale, kids, dogs, husbands, travel plans.

Then.

My brother was beeping in on the other line.  I almost hung up on poor Lindsay and didn’t even say ‘hello’ to Patrick.  “Is he here?” is all I wanted to know.

“We haven’t seen him yet, but he is here!  8 pounds and 7 ounces; he was born at 11:07am.  Sarah and Brooks are doing just wonderfully.”

Wow.  We are now aunts and uncles … my parents are now grandparents.  It’s momentous. 

Patrick promised to send me some pics with his camera phone once he is able to, and I hung up elated, and immediately updated the Facebook page so that all of our friends and family could know the outcome, “Brooks is here!  8 lbs 7 oz. born at 11:07 – accounting has lost its appeal at the moment.  Sarah is doing great!”

Beyond that … my first task as a new “crazy aunt who lives 1,000 miles away” was quickly accomplished.

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Only 27 more days til I get to hold the little booger, although my mother just called again to tell me how beautiful he is and I’m strongly considering a road trip.

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